Side Projects – A Collective Work
(*This page is used to display my current and past side projects in various fields*)
Unreal Engine 4 Objectives Marker Blueprint
Role – Sole Developer
Hey peeps! I am happy to announce the creation of a set of Blueprints that I am really proud of; The Unreal Engine 4 Objectives Marker Blueprint!
This set of Blueprints make it possible for game developers to easily implement an objective based HUD that displays the location of customizable objectives both on and off screen. At the moment, I have two tutorials available on my YouTube Channel – DevinLevelDesign that guide you in the creation of the content and Blueprints required to make the Objectives Marker fully functional for free.
Moving forward, I am currently working with Epic Games in an effort to make the Objective Marker Blueprint available for purchase as well on the Unreal Engine 4 Marketplace. The reason for this is to receive income for my hard work on this Blueprint so that I can continue to create more tutorials and Blueprints for the community to enjoy. At the time of this writing, I have submitted my request to Epic Games to review the Blueprint for consideration to be available on the Marketplace for a price of $5 USD. For those who do not have the money for the Blueprint, the tutorials will always remain available on my channel so you can recreate it yourself for free.
Unreal Engine 4 Physics Essentials – Released
Role – Co-Author
Hey everyone! I am happy to announce that the book, Unreal Engine 4 Physics Essentials has been published and available for purchase as of September 28, 2015 (9/28/15). The book is available for purchase on Amazon and on Packt Publishing and it would mean so much to me if you guys check it out!
A big shout out to my co-author Katax Emperore for his help in writing this book and making sure that the information was useful to Unreal Engine 4 users at any skill level. Additionally, I would like to thank the team over at Packt Publishing for their help and support in making this book possible.
Runs with Pixels
Role – Sole Developer
I am excited to announce that I am currently working on a new project called Running with Pixels. For this project, I am using Unreal Engine 4 v. 4.8.2 to create a 2D Side-Scroller/Runner game that utilizes pixel art to enhance the gameplay.
My goal for this game is to become better versed in the creation of 2D pixel character and environment art, and to become more comfortable with the pipeline from Photoshop to Unreal Engine 4. At the moment, my stronger skills involve level design and Blueprint Scripting, so I want expand my skill-set and become a stronger asset in game development.
At the time of this blog, I have been working hard on creating characters for this game; unique and parody characters that will bring much needed humor and variety to this project. Here are some examples of these characters:
Aquanox – The Deep Descent
Role – Level Designer/Blueprint Scripter
Aquanox: The Deep Descent is the spiritual successor to the Aquanox series; an underwater submarine-based shooter developed between the late 90’s and early 2000’s for the PC platform. Aquanox: The Deep Descent has been in development for the last few years, originally developed in UDK/Unreal Engine 3 but is now pushing development using Unreal Engine 4. The project is being lead by Norbert Vega, the CEO of Digital Arrow LTD, and I am working with the project as its Level Designer/Blueprint Scripter in an effort to effectively port the game over to Unreal Engine 4. I cannot speak much more regarding this project due to NDA contracts, but please feel free to check out some of the content videos available online.
Unreal Engine 4 Physics Essentials
Role – Co-Author
I was approached by Indrajit Das, an Acquisition at Pakt Publishing, about working on a book called Unreal Engine Physics Essentials back in late April. I had never worked on an academic book before, but I was always a fan of technical writing so I decided to seize the opportunity. My only worry at the very beginning of this project was that I wasn’t very confident in my knowledge-base when it came to utilizing in-game physics within Unreal Engine 4 and as a result we had obtained a co-author, Cliff Sharif, to assist in writing this book.
At the time of this writing I do not know what the release date will be for this book, but once I am presented with that information I will create another Blog post here, as well as make an announcement video on the Devin Level Design channel. What I can say is that we have completed the first draft for all 8 chapters of the book, but there is still much more work to be done for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd revisions; as well as adding more content to the book.
Though there is a lot of work left to do for this project, I am very excited to see how it turns out and hope it will be a great educational reference for those wanting to learn Unreal Engine 4. Stay tuned to this blog to stay up to date with this project!
Unreal Engine 4 Game Development Cook Book
Role – Book Reviewer
At the start of 2015 I was approached by Mary Alex, a project Coordinator at Packt Publishing about being a reviewer of one of their upcoming books, Unreal Engine 4 Game Development Cook Book. Over the last few months, I have been provided a total of 8 chapters from the authors of this book in an effort to check for any inaccuracies in the information or steps within the text. The Unreal Engine 4 Game Development Cook Book includes chapters that cover a wide range of topics within Unreal Engine 4 such as Blueprint Scripting, Material Editing, Asset Pipelines, Editor Functionality, and more.
At the time of this writing, I have completed my first reviews of all 8 chapters and am waiting on communication regarding the second pass reviews to those chapters and if there are any additional tasks needed to complete on my end for the project. Once the book is completed, my name will be mentioned within the book as one of the reviewers; alongside a link to my portfolio and I will be receiving two free books from Packt Publishing. Needless to say, I am very excited and proud of this opportunity, and I cannot wait for readers to get their hands on the book. More information will be posted to this section of my website, and I will create a new Blog post about any future news regarding this project.
Isolation – Unreal Death-Match Map
Role – Level Designer
What is Isolation?
Isolation is a death-match type map that I had created at the beginning of 2013 using the Unreal Development Kit and its default assets. I had created this map in an attempt to continue working on my level design skills using UDK; though now with the release of Unreal Engine 4 this level is very outdated. I wanted to include this level piece in an effort to show how far I have progressed since its development in 2013, and I hope you enjoy what you see.
Isolation Game-Play Walk-Through
Isolation Level Walk-Through
Art Challenge – Recreating My Bedroom
Role – Environment Artist
In 2013, I wanted to challenge my 3D art skills and my knowledge of the 3D asset pipeline within the Unreal Development Kit by recreating my childhood bedroom that I lived in before moving away for college. All of the assets that I created were made in 3ds Max 2013, and all of the different Diffuse, Normal, Specular, and Emissive maps were created using Photoshop CS5.
Though I am not a 3D artist by trade, I wanted to challenge myself as a designer, and a level designer to work outside of my comfort zone in order to expand my skill-set.
As seen by the accompanying photos, I was able to accurately recreate my room using the assets that I created and exported into the Unreal Development Kit. Overall, it took a matter of a month or so to create all of the assets and place them into the level.
Role – Level/Environment Designer
This Medieval Environment was created in 2013 as a practice in creating environments using the Unreal Development Kit and its default assets. I also was able to create my own custom snow material in order to make two versions of the same environment; one version during a summers’ night and the other during a winters’ night. This environment was also one of the first times that I created my own custom material, in this case a snow material, and was able to effectively incorporate it in my own environment.